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Developmental Services Worker

Georgian College Applied Arts and Technology
2 years
Full time/part time
Diploma / certificate
On campus
04 September 2023
Georgian College Applied Arts and Technology

About this program

Developmental Services Worker

Students develop the knowledge and skills required to support people with developmental disabilities across the lifespan. Utilizing person directed planning, students advocate for self-determination in individuals with developmental disabilities, and facilitate the development of natural supports and opportunities for full community participation.

Areas of study includes intellectual, physical and mental disabilities, spectrum disorders, support options, health and well-being, social relationships, active lifestyles, community building, stages of human development, augmentative communication, pharmacology and medication administration, teaching and intervention strategies, support planning for individuals and their family, counselling, and professional development. Students consolidate this learning in fourteen weeks of supervised field placements.

Admission requirements

OSSD or equivalent with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing.

Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the college website.

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Program content

Semester 1

  • Augmentative Communication
  • Teaching Strategies
  • Person Directed Planning
  • Introduction to Developmental Services
  • Community Building and Active Living
  • Human Lifespan Development

Semester 2

  • Body Systems and Disorders
  • Social Relationships
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Intervention Strategies
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • Health Skills

Semester 3

  • Supportive Counselling
  • Behavioral and Family Supports
  • Professional Practice and Field Preparation
  • Developmental Services: Issues and Trends
  • Gerontology in Developmental Services
  • Spectrum Disorders
  • Pharmacology and Medication Administration

Semester 4

  • Field Placement A
  • Field Placement B


Tuition fee: $16,430.33 CAD


Credential: Ontario College Diploma

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. conduct oneself in an ethical, competent and accountable manner in all professional relationships;
  2. provide person-directed supports and services that respect and promote self-determination for people with developmental disabilities;
  3. provide for the safety of people with developmental disabilities, self and others in compliance with all applicable legislation, regulations and standards of practice;
  4. support health and well-being of people with developmental disabilities;
  5. employ and adapt formal and informal strategies to support the learning of people with developmental disabilities;
  6. provide leadership in the development of inclusive communities;
  7. develop professional and personal plans that enhance job performance and well-being;
  8. employ environmentally sustainable practices within the profession;
  9. apply basic entrepreneurial strategies to realize social, environmental and/or financial rewards;
  10. apply knowledge of indigenous culture and traditions in the promotion of an inclusive community;
  11. apply cultural and internationalization awareness in the planning and implementation of services and supports.

Career paths

Diverse opportunities within the field of developmental services are available in educational, community living, and day services organizations. Job titles include community support worker, educational assistant, community living counsellor, vocational coach, senior’s program counsellor, developmental services advocate, supported independent living counsellor, home care provider, life skills instructor, specialized care provider, employment instructor, family support worker, recreation inclusion counsellor and developmental support professional.

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About this institute

Georgian College

Established in 1967, Georgian College (Canada) is a public college with 125+ market-driven programs offered to over 13,000 full time students including about 4,500 international students from 60 countries. Its 100-acre flagship campus, located in Barrie, is just an hour...

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Contact info

Georgian College Applied Arts and Technology

1 Georgian Drive
L4M 3X9 Barrie Ontario

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